See an illegally parked car? Well, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will no longer tow it.
Starting today, the MMDA will be giving fines to those illegally parked along major roads and alternate routes, instead of whisking them away via tow truck. Tickets will be issued on the spot by MMDA traffic enforcers and, if the owner is not around, the citation will be left on the vehicle's windshield. MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said that the “five-minute rule” which allows drivers to move their illegally parked cars within the said five minutes has been 'considered waived'.
The MMDA states that tickets will be issued to those parked illegally on national roads and Mabuhay Lanes from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Garcia mentioned that, with this new practice in place, there will be less instances of abuse and extortion from towing companies.
"There are many complaints about abusive towing firms. We do not want the efforts of our traffic personnel to go to waste because of them," said Garcia.
Prices of fines have also been published by the MMDA. It will be Php 200 for violating the illegal parking rule, Php 150 for disregarding traffic signs and Php 150 for obstruction. Those are the prices for now but the the Metro Manila Council has agreed to increase the penalty for illegal parking in the metropolis. The fine for attended illegally parked vehicles may soon be raised from P200 to P1000, while unattended illegally parked vehicles may increase from P300 to 2,000. At the moment, imposition of higher fine will not be enforced yet as the agency officials will still have to meet with MMC’s Special Traffic Committee.
While cars parked on main roads and Mabuhay lanes will no longer be towed, the MMDA did say it's a different matter if the vehicle was parked illegally along inner roads. These vehicles can still be towed by the local government. However, the LGUs are required to coordinate with the MMDA should they want to tow a car out.